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While the City is sensitive to individual situations and makes every effort to work with property owners to develop reasonable repair plans, violations must be corrected. Property owners who neglect their maintenance responsibilities or allow their properties to become a blight on the neighborhood are subject to both criminal and civil penalties including prosecution and nuisance abatement intervention. Certainly, those are options the City prefers to avoid, so please convey your intentions if repair progress is limited so there is no confusion as to your plans.
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In the absence of health or safety violations, the standard compliance period is 90 days.
Please use our online form to request an extension. Extensions are usually based on progress made. Therefore, a reinspection may be required before addressing the extension request. The Housing Commissioner will review your situation and respond back to you in writing.
Please contact Michael Lester by email or by calling 216-491-1477. If you and he are unable to resolve the issue over the phone, Mr. Lester can meet you at the site to review the violation. If after meeting Mr. Lester you still disagree, you may file a formal appeal with the Board of Appeals. Refer to your violations notice for the appeals process.
The first step is to talk to your inspector. His or her phone number is on page 1 of your report. If, after discussing it on the phone, you and the inspector would like to meet, please call 216-491-1471 to schedule an advisory appointment.
The City requests that homeowners prioritize health and safety violations and those that negatively impact the appearance of the property. If you are experiencing financial difficulties or other life challenges, please email or call Housing Specialist Colin Compton at 216-491-1333 for assistance.
Following are the steps to take when you have no heat, no running water, and/or no hot water in your rental property. Ohio Landlord/Tenant law requires the landlord to supply the dwelling unit with running water, reasonable amounts of hot water, and reasonable heat at all times (Ohio Revised Code §5321.04(A)(6)). The City of Shaker Heights, through its Housing Code, establishes the minimum standards necessary to make all dwelling structures safe, sanitary, and habitable. If a rental unit has no running water, no hot water, or no heat, that may result in an emergency situation requiring an immediate response by the landlord.
The first step if your heat is out (or not working properly), or you do not have any running water, or no hot water, is to contact your landlord/property manager and ask them to repair it.
If your landlord/property manager does not make the repair, you can contact the City’s Building and Housing Department for code enforcement. Click here to access the property complaint form or call 216-491-1471, or email us.
The City will schedule an appointment with you for a City inspector to inspect your rental property. For no heat complaints, the inspector will take measurements of the temperature in your rental unit. The temperature of habitable rooms is required to be not less than 70 degrees Fahrenheit whenever the outside temperature falls below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (Codified Ordinances of the City of Shaker Heights, §1411.12). If the heat is not 70 degrees or greater as measured at the center of the room about three feet off the floor, the City may cite the property owner.
If the problem is related to lack of running water and/or no hot water, an inspection appointment will also be necessary so that an inspector can confirm the status of the water supply. Every dwelling unit must have hot and cold running water at all sinks, tubs and showers (COCSH §1411.09).
Note that the City cannot cite a landlord/property manager for a code violation if you do not provide access to your unit for this inspection.
Also, note that the change in seasons can dramatically affect certain types of heating systems. For example, multi-family units with boiler systems may be automatically programmed to start running based on exterior temperature; fluctuations in outside temperatures that typically occur in both the fall and spring may result in less than desirable interior temperatures for a short period of time, but these periods usually do not last long. It can take these systems 24-36 hours to heat up after the boiler is fired up for the first time, and the same amount of time to cool down as temperatures rise outside. However, repeated, prolonged issues with temperature adjustment may be indicative of a larger problem – and a call to your landlord as noted above may be in order. Please note, there is no state or local law requiring landlords to provide air conditioning.
Remember that space heaters should NEVER be used as sole sources of heat for your apartment, and stove tops/ovens should never be used as a heat source, as they can be serious fire hazards to you and your neighbors.
In addition to asking the City to take code enforcement action, tenants can also take legal action to ensure repairs to heat and other critical systems are made by their landlord/tenant. Please use the resources below to learn more.